MSN Money had an interesting post awhile ago about an annual survey of millionaires. They classified the millionaires into six categories, according to how they made their money, their risk tolerance, attitudes about wealth, etc.

Satisfied Savers (24% of Total)

  • Average age: 60
  • Built wealth through hard work, by living below their means and taking moderate risks
  • Financially savvy
  • Lost relatively little in the bear market
  • Know how to make their money work for them
  • Enjoy making a difference through charitable efforts

Status Chasers (18% of Total)

  • Average age: 55
  • Achieved wealth through work and some inheritance
  • Want it all but haven’t been able to achieve their major goals yet
  • Define wealth as a level three times their current net worth
  • Pessimistic about their own financial future
  • Less financially knowledgeable than their counterparts
  • Think of financial situation daily as a source of concern

Altruistic Achievers (17% of Total)

  • Average age: 54
  • Achieved wealth through work, some inheritance, good investments, owning a business, and living below their means
  • Self-made, driven to succeed, work hard, take risks
  • Use their wealth to help the less fortunate
  • Lack the time, interest and know-how to manage finances; rely on professional management
  • Lost the most in the bear market
  • Only one-quarter plan to retire completely

Secret Succeeders (17% of Total)

  • Average age: 55
  • Self-made: built fortunes through working in professional and managerial positions, making one or two particularly good investments and not spending
  • Live below their means
  • Suspicious of showing their wealth — fear they’ll lose it
  • Among the least charitable
  • Group includes the greatest percentage that admit they’ll do whatever it takes, including compromise principles, to stay ahead
  • Not especially financially savvy, but having financial control is key
  • Somewhat optimistic about their financial futures

Disengaged Inheritors (13% of Total)

  • Average age: 58
  • Received and built their wealth largely through inheritance, and living below their means
  • Second-wealthiest and second-oldest group
  • Lack the goals and drive to succeed
  • Think about their financial situation the least out of apathy and ambivalence
  • Not charitable, generally unhappy
  • Least financial know-how of the high-net worth segment

Deal Masters (11% of Total)

  • Average age: 49
  • Have amassed the greatest wealth, self-made, self-reliant
  • Built wealth by setting goals, working hard, being persistent, taking risks, relying on their own financial know-how
  • Segment comprises the largest number of small business owners
  • “Winner takes all” attitude
  • Confident and optimistic
  • Enjoy the challenge of making money
  • Think about financial situation daily — source of challenge, fun, and happiness
  • Lost the least in the bear market
  • One of the least charitable groups
  • Living their dream, little inclination to stop working
  • 62% would rather be stressed than have nothing to do

An interesting comment from the article:

“Most millionaires today don’t have inherited wealth. They’re not driving a Jag and they’re not flamboyant or flashy. They work hard, they’re frugal and they save and invest well…It’s not enough to stick your money under your mattress. You have to invest, but you have to do it wisely. Few hit it big hitting a stock. It’s a discipline. The message is one of steady habits as it relates to savings and investing. Living below your means is a key point, whether we’re talking about someone with $1.2 million or $80,000. There’s clearly also a work ethic; you hear a lot of these people say work is a joy.”

Looking over the list, I’d say I’m most likely to fall into the Deal Master category, with one notable exception: I will be very charitable with what I am blessed with. Aside from that, I can see myself in many of the descriptions in that last category. Which category will you fall into?